Within the league of mountains, Everest and K2 are renown solely for their size; their sheer height above the distant seas. On a more spiritual level, many mountains are seen as sacred, bridging the gap between earth and heaven, even providing a suitable earthly abode for the gods. Modern Turkey abounds in peaks sacred to the pre-Turkish inhabitants: Olympus, home to the Hellenic gods, & Mount Arrat, sacred to the Armenians.
Further east, beyond the Himalaya, Gan Rinpoch or – to use the more popular Indian name – Mount Kailas, is a contemporary pilgrimage site to Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and Bön-Po. Pilgrims make the sacred yet arduous journey from across South and East Asia, to a mountainous region enduring in its isolation. A region devoid of airports, roads, hotels and most modern conveniences. A region beyond reach of the twentieth century.